Ichthyosaurs 101 | National Geographic
98 Comments


– [Narrator] While
dinosaurs roamed the Earth and pterosaurs ruled the sky, sea monsters called ichthyosaurs dominated the world’s oceans. Ichthyosaurs were ancient
reptilian predators. They first appeared about 251 million years ago during the Triassic Period. 20 million years before
dinosaurs came about. True to their name, which means fish lizards in Greek, the earliest ichthyosaurs looked much like lizards with fins. Over the course of their
100 million year existence, their bodies transformed and became more akin to fish in shape. They had long narrow skulls and jaws that were lined with sharp teeth. These teeth were used to catch prey like fish and squid. Their eyes were the largest ever recorded of any animal which helped them see through the dark waters of the deep ocean. In fact one species had eyes that were over 10 inches wide. Their bodies ranged in size. Some barely reached
the length of two feet. While the longest specimen was about 85 feet long. They had paddle like fins and a vertical tail which help ichthyosaurs, despite their great size, zip through water at speeds of over 22 miles per hour. All together these qualities put ichthyosaurs at the top of the marine food chain. By the late Cretaceous Period, about 25 million years before an asteroid
wiped out the dinosaurs, ichthyosaurs became extinct. Some scientist believe it may have been due to severe climate change. But the exact reason why these early sea monsters died out is still a mystery.

98 thoughts on “Ichthyosaurs 101 | National Geographic

  1. Interesting water dinosaur. And a big one at that. There's always the chance that there were far more superior species that could have emerged claiming feeding and breeding territory, and disrupting their food source, which would have lead to their extinction. Thanks for sharing National Geographic.

  2. I feel like everything scientist can't explain, they just use cc. It's a well that they seem to always fall back into.

  3. Hell we don't even know for certain if these dudes are already extinct. The meteor couldn't possibly have had a huge impact on the whole planet let alone the bottom of the ocean. We don't even know what's down there.

    Also could we appreciate the fact that NG finally added narration?

  4. Imagine this aquatic animals were still alive today just how much people would go out to the ocean lmao

  5. Ichthyosaurs first appeared on Earth 251 million years ago, 20 million years before dinosaurs. What intrigues you the most about the "fish lizard?"

  6. Ichtyosaurs had the largest eyes ever? Well that's something I didn't know, you learn something every day

  7. My 7 year old was in the bath the other day growling and scratching herself all over when my wife asked why, and she replied that she was 'A Itchysaurus!'

  8. They extinted before the end of the Cretaceous Period, might be due to being an active hunter. High metabolism allows fast breeding, but also the most vunerble in the food chain.

  9. I think Ichtyosaurs went extinct because they got outcompeted by Mosasaurs, which became widespread during the same time.

  10. I thought the colossal squid had the largest eyes recorded? It was estimated that the eye of the colossal squid captured in 2007 was 12 to 16 inces in diameter when it was alive, and they think that they could grow even larger than that.

  11. Now that’s one thing humans can’t be held responsible extinction of. Everything else, we have no one but ourselves to blame

  12. I don't know how water species see, but humans require light to pass through their eyes to see. So if your eyes are bigger and there is less light, you vision is quite horrible. Like a huge camera lense with low light. Need them small eyes to see well.

  13. a lot of ichthyosaurs were macropredators meaning they ate other marine reptiles notable examples of macropredator ichthyosaurs are Himalayasaurus over 15 metres long, Thalattoarchon 8.6 to 10 metres long, Temnodontosaurus platyodon 10 to 12 metres long and a new one that was 14 metres long and ate thalattoarchon these ichthyosaurs had big chunky teeth to rip big bodied prey apart and their skulls are no narrow in fact the new 14 metre one and thalattoarchons skulls are perhaps the most t rex like of all ichthyosaurs

  14. YESSS DINOSAURS! But I think most of them had feathers? Don’t hate on me if I’m wrong

  15. @National Geographic: Stop using Imperial measurements on Youtube. Only four countries in the whole world still use this confusing and innefficient system. As a Youtube channel dedicated to science and teaching people about nature; you should endeavour to also use the scientifically correct methods of measurements. The Metric system.

  16. Do you think they would attack humans if they were still present on earth? I always imagined them as being gentle but honestly they probably were dangerous.

  17. They just unearthed an Ichthyosaurs with fossilized skin and FAT. Yes, FAT, indicating they were warm blooded. The skin also showed counter shading like in a lot of sharks/dolphins.

  18. I feel like it may have been competition with animals like Mosasaurs and The giant killer fish could have caused the extinction of the ichthyosaurs, even the largest specimen wouldn't be able to do much against a very large mosasaur not to mention all the different varieties of shark that burst into numbers

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